Did Apple ‘Shamelessly’ Steal This Inventor’s Idea?
An inventor who claims he patented the smartphone before Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) created the iPhone is suing the Cupertino, California-based company for damages over its alleged patent infringement, Patently Apple reports.
NetAirus Technologies LLC, a company owned by 70-year-old electrical engineer and inventor Richard L. Ditzik, holds a patent titled, “Wireless handset communication system,” which he filed in 1997. The patent abstract describes a wireless device that is capable of “bi-directional realtime communications of voice, audio, text, graphics and video data.”
NetAirus’s lawyer, Ray Niro, said Apple “shamelessly” stole the inventor’s idea, reports Bloomberg. “Apple somewhere along the line lost their way,” said Niro. “They lost their sense of responsibility.”
According to Patently Apple’s Jason Frankovitz, NetAirus’s lawyers have tried to bolster this claim by repeatedly citing Steve Jobs’s quote, “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” In response, Apple lawyer Mark Scarsi told the jury that Ditzik’s invention was not a smartphone, Bloomberg reports. “His invention was using your computer as your cell phone,” said Scarsi in his closing argument. “That’s not an iPhone.”